The right climate to make a difference

Awarded the philanthropically-funded Environmental Thinker and Achiever Award in 2019, final year Environment and Society student Naomi Kelsey discusses what winning meant to her, and where she plans to take her career in climate change.

When Naomi started volunteering for a climate awareness organisation, she quickly realised that this was so much more than a passion project for her. 

“I went along to the training and soon realised that I didn’t want to do climate activism one evening a week, I wanted to do this full-time.” 

Naomi enrolled in a Bachelor of Environment and Society at RMIT and says the most exciting part of her program is learning about real world problems and making a tangible difference. 

There are myriad issues connected to climate change and we’re looking for ways to innovate and use our own privilege to help other people
Environmental Thinker and Achiever Award recipient, Naomi Kelsey Environmental Thinker and Achiever Award recipient, Naomi Kelsey

A determined and focused activist, Naomi was awarded the Environmental Thinker and Achiever Award based on her immediate goals in the climate space, and how the funding would help her get there. Naomi says that winning the award has helped remove some of the financial pressure that comes with studying, allowing her to focus on her coursework and delve into her extracurricular activities. It has also boosted her confidence and motivation. 

“There can be a bit of inertia and emotional fatigue from studying policies that are destructive and figuring out how you can make a difference. Having my efforts recognised through this award has inspired and encouraged me to see that I’m on the right track, I’m doing something that can make real change.” 

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer